It is common to hear people speak of God, usually in grand terms such as God is the all-knowing yet unknowable punisher of the wicked and benign provider to the deserving. The usual proof for this god is: “Look around. How else could all of this be possible?”
Spiritualists speak of God as a ubiquitous presence and the source of Natural Law. While the Spiritualist organizations reject the father god characterization, individually, Spiritualists tend to stay with the old ways, characterizing God as a benefactor and giver of laws. The foundation proof of this god is Natural Law.
For many people, the need to look to a higher source is stronger than the desire to maintain a rational world perspective. A person may not believe in God but still look to a divine influence to make sense of life. We are good at compartmentalizing our need for divinity from our need for rationality.
Informed Perception of God
If God is a father god living in some distant part of reality like the mythological gods of Mount Olympus, then perhaps it will remain unknowable. However, an important assumption in many ancient wisdom schools* is that reality is knowable. As a logical exercise, that means God is knowable, as well. So, let’s talk about what we know, beginning with three assumptions:
- God is the source of reality
- God is expressed as order in reality.
- God is knowable
- Each instance of life is an aspect of God
* Ancient wisdom schools, especially Hermetic Traditions, tend to be knowledge based, rather than faith based. Also, the assumption that reality, and by extension, God is knowable is the foundation assumption of systems teaching the concept of Natural Law.
Taken as a logical argument, these givens imply a therefore which might be summed as:
Therefore: By knowing about ourselves, we can know about God.
Building a Cosmology
A cosmology is a model of reality based on the metaphysical study of the nature of reality. A useful tool for developing a cosmology is black box analysis. The technique is often used for reverse engineering a competitor’s device when only the purpose, input and output is known. The result is supposed to be a device, process, technique … something that will satisfy the input and output to fulfill the same purpose.
Black box analysis is also a way to develop a metaphysical cosmology that may not be actually correct but is functionally correct and useful for further study. The theory presented here has evolved from of such a study.
A number of important concepts need to be part of this study. It is important that you understand and are comfortable with them, so please feel free to contact me at (ethericstudies.org/contact.htm) if you would like a better explanation, have questions and/or suggestions:
- Reality is referred to here as the etheric, as opposed to the physical which is referred to as an aspect of the etheric.
The psi field described in parapsychology is considered etheric, but to avoid confusion, it is treated as a local aspect of reality which is in conjunction with the physical.
- A person is an etheric life field entangled with a human body in an avatar relationship.
The Functional Areas of a Life Field diagram below illustrates many of these points. The Life Field concept is explained in detail at ethericstudies.org.1
- We exist in the etheric. This includes our personality (who we really are as: I am this), unconscious mind, perceptual processes and conscious self (I think I am this). As a person, our conscious self experiences reality from the perspective of the human body.
- Conscious self’s perception is normally dominated by worldview which is a combination of human instincts, inherited urge to learn, inherited and acquired understanding and beliefs acquired during the current lifetime.
- The human senses are transformed into etheric form for processing in the perception function of our unconscious mind (External Influence in the Life Field diagram below).
- As it is modeled, we enter into a lifetime to gain understanding about the nature of reality as it is expressed in the physical. This is an urge inherited from our Source.
- As objects of reality, fields consist of related elements which are attracted to an intelligent core. (A thoughtform is an example of a field.)
- Life, characterized as a life field, is the building block of reality. In the cosmology, life fields are arranged as a hierarchy of nested fields.
Functional areas of each instance of a life field are more or less expressed. For instance, compare human life field to cell life field.
The last point needs explaining. A fractal is a shape which is repeated at all levels of granularity. As an example, in what is known as a Sierpinski Triangle (right), the equilateral triangle is a fractal. In principle, the triangle is repeated at every level of magnification.2
The Life Field represents a fractal as the building block of reality. The functional areas in the diagram and their relationship have come from the black box analysis technique. (Functionally correct, may not be technically correct) Think of yourself as the Conscious Self functional area, the Attention Complex as your unconscious mind and Personality functional area is your higher self and that which is immortal. The Intelligent Core is the autonomic system of your life field as the body consciousness is the autonomic system for your body body.
As Above, So Below
Another assumption is that reality is homogenous, in that knowing the nature of one part indicates the nature of the rest. Hermes is said to have taught this fundamental concept around 5,000 years ago via the Emerald Tablet.3
The first two lines of the Emerald Tablet read:
- “It is true and no lie, certain and to be depended upon, that which is above is as that which is below; and that which is below is as that which is above, for the performance of the one truly great work.”
- “And as all things are from only one thing, by will of the one God, so all things have their origin in this one power, by adaptation to their individual purposes.”
The Great Work is the process of transmuting a faith-based worldview into one that is in accordance with the actual nature of reality. Of course, the “one thing” is God, but important to note is that, while Hermes has told us all things are of God, he also said that each individual has been differentiated as a unique aspect of God. This echoes the concept of life as a fractal in which God is the top fractal.
In the Hypothesis of Formative Causation proposed by Rupert Sheldrake,4 formation of a living organism is managed via what he refers to as a morphic field. The field is nonphysical and formation is based on what he refers to as Nature’s habit. In a physical organism, the fields are arranged in a hierarchy of nested fields, meaning that there is a top field (Intelligent core is body consciousness) and many dependent fields such as skin, bones, organs and cells. There is a many-to-one relationship (nested) so that for instance, many cell morphic fields would be associated with the skin morphic field.
Speaking in terms of cosmology, morphic fields are etheric. To work, they need basically the same functional areas shown in the Life Field diagram. Nature’s habit is like the Worldview functional area. The ability to evolve Nature’s habit is in the Perceptual Loop. External expression in the diagram represents the organizing influence a morphic field has on the physical processes of organism formation.
Sheldrake’s Hypothesis of Formative Causation is by no means established science. In fact, it tends to be an updated variation of Lamarckian evolution5 which competed for a time with Darwinian evolution but then was discarded for lack of a recognize physical mechanism for transmitting change to the next generation. The difference is that Sheldrake has given a mechanism for inheritance that makes sense considering current understanding of the etheric.
There is some analytical support for the inheritance of acquired traits,6 but the real interest for this discussion is how Sheldrake applies Nature’s habit. Expression by a life field and a morphic field must follow the same principles. Applying the principle of as above, so below, if morphic fields are validated as the building block of organic life, the same principles and research should apply to life fields.
Who we are, is not who we think we are.7 I have discussed this concept in other issues of this column. As the Life Field diagram shows, the attention complex is an unconscious part of our mind. We become consciously aware of the results of the processes represented by the Perceptual Loop. What we become consciously aware of is based on our worldview.8,9
The importance of unconscious perception is that we use the same mechanisms that organize cell formation to develop an objective image of our physical world. This is an emerging realization of mainstream science8 and you can expect to hear a lot more about this in the future. The Life Field diagram illustrates unconscious filtering of conscious perception.
Source as a Life Field
Considering what has been presented here,* reality can be modeled as a hierarchy of nested life fields. Source is the top life field, and as such, it is also the reality field. In effect, everything in reality is in Source’s life field by way of the thread of entanglement between first cause and subsequent aspectations. This influence of entanglement is a function of intention, attention and imagined outcomes.
* Additional support for this cosmology comes from various forms of transcommunication and psi research.
A morphic field is modeled so that the organism it influences is in the field. This is because the morphic field imposes an influence on the biological process. In the field means within the field of influence expressed by the morphic field or life field.
This hypothetical model is important to support the idea that God (Source) is the reality field. Consider how we express our personal reality. What we imagine remains associated with us by way of a link of attention. What we expect to express via our creative process remains in our influence field. It is in effect, in our field of influence, just as we are in God’s reality field.
Key to this discussion is the idea that we make our world. We have a personal reality based on what we believe to be true (worldview). Since we only become consciously aware of what our unconscious perceptual processes present to our conscious self, we literally experience objective reality as it is expressed by our beliefs. This is becoming established science.8, 9 We manage our sense of reality by learning to change worldview. One way to accomplish this is via mindful living.10 In effect, that is what we do while learning to understand Natural Law.
If life fields are fractals in Source’s reality, then it is arguable that Source also has a personal reality and is seeking to align it with its actual nature. As such, God is still learning.
An important indication about the nature of Source (God) is that the concept of organizing principles (Natural Law) enables reality to self-organize without an all-knowing god. If a cosmology begins with a sentient personality that is given the functional attributes of a life field, then all else follows without much intervention.
Notice in the Life Field diagram that there is an Intention Channel between conscious self and the Attention Complex. That is the one conscious influence we have on our unconscious perceptual processes. If Source is given the attribute of curiosity about its own nature, it is arguable that it will attempt to visualize itself and its environment as a means of satisfying that curiosity.
Using ourselves as a model, our curiosity about something naturally initiates a mental exercise in which we imagine various aspects of it as it might relate to us. A useful exercise is to imagine what it would be like to own a new sports car. It is likely that we would imagine a situation in which we would be driving the car. If we really want to know what it is like, we would give that Little Me self-determination. When we have explored the situation, our Little Me would return understanding of the experience to our worldview.
Such imaginings are usually only a moment in duration in our unconscious and only the decision emerges into consciousness. However, the exercise will become part of our personal reality if we focus our attention on the question and allow our conscious exploration to run its course.
In terms of cosmology, the process of creating Little Me and the situation we want our Little Me to explore is referred to as aspectation and the process is differentiation. It is our intention that gives the imagined Little Me purpose and attention which determines the duration of the exercise.
In this model, the physical aspect of reality is such an imagining. It is shared by many personalities via their collective of aspects.
The idea of a shared venue for learning is useful to explain the pervasive references in virtually all forms of religion to personalities holding the physical aspect of reality in their mind (angels, devas, nature spirits) and we who experience lifetimes in the physical. As it is modeled in the Implicit Cosmology,11 many personalities are using the physical venue to gain understanding about specific aspect so Source’s nature. Their imaginings produce many aspect personalities which remain entangled with them so that they are the top life field for the collective of their imagined personalities. I am part of such a collective. You may be part of the same collective (Soul mate?), but more likely part of another.
Examples of Self-organization
The functional areas of Life Fields naturally occur in response to the influence of curiosity (Intention and Perception) and the state of understanding (Worldview). This assumption is based on the expectation that such functional areas are necessary to produce known response patterns.
An Organizing Principle that naturally results from our perceptual processes is Perceptual Agreement which can be stated as: Personality must be in perceptual agreement with the aspect of reality with which it will associate. The implication is that we are not able to experience parts of reality which do not agree with our expectations (personal reality). There is no need for an ethereal being to say we cannot go to heaven if our worldview will not allow our sensing of heaven to emerge to conscious self from the Perceptual Loop.
A second Organizing Principle is Cooperative Communities which may be stated as: Personalities are attracted to communities of like-minded people cooperating to facilitate progression. The conscious expression of intention to be spoken to the listener. If this initial effort to explain a concept is followed by questions and new attempts to explain the concept, it can affect worldview in the same way as a Maybe outcome of the Perceptual Loop. (A Maybe outcome changes Worldview).
The Golden Rule of Do unto others as you world have them do unto you likely has at its foundation a more pragmatic Teach me as I teach you. The objective of a lifetime is to gain understanding. As it is modeled, the collective may not fulfill its purpose until expected understanding has been gained by every member life field. Cooperative communities are a natural response to that imperative.
God and Gods
In a sense, people speak as if there is an impersonal ubiquitous god of Natural Law and a personal god of our reason for being. We find meaning in communion with our loved ones, and enjoy the comfort of knowing we have guides dedicated to our progression. Our inner space is populated with loved ones and guides, … sometimes with nature spirits of one character or another.
Always implicit in our sense of inner community is the understanding that there are ethereal beings at the edge of our awareness; present, but acting through our more accessible loved ones and guides. It is to those implied gods that I believe we direct our prayers; perhaps not as the deliberate act of a metaphysician, but the instinctive act of respect for those we sense care if we progress in our understanding.
In this cosmology, these ethereal beings are the top life field of our collective. Just as we have many Little Me aspects of ourselves populating our imagined inner worlds for experience, so we are Little Mes for these beings. It is our ethereal beings who must wait until we gain sufficient perceptual agreement to return our treasure of understanding so that they may move on toward their ethereal being. As I have come to understand order, it is through this progression that Source will eventually come to understand its nature.
- Butler, Tom, Life Field, Etheric Studies, ethericstudies.org/concepts/life_field.htm
- Sierpinski Triangle, Fractal Explorer, fractal-explorer.com/sierpinskitriangle.html
- Butler, Tom, The Emerald Tablet, Etheric Studies, 2015, ethericstudies.org/writing/emerald_tablet.htm
- Sheldrake, Rupert PhD. Morphic Resonance and Morphic Fields, on the Rupert Sheldrake Biologist and Author website, sheldrake.org/Articles&Papers/papers/morphic/morphic_intro.html
- Waggoner, Ben, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), University of California Museum of Paleontology, www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/lamarck.html.
- Appleyard, Bryan, Rupert Sheldrake’s Alternative Science, 2012, bryanappleyard.com/rupert-sheldrake-alternative-science/
- Joshi, Sheila, James Carpenter’s First Sight model and neurological damage-induced psi openings, Blog: Neuroscience and Psi, August 11, 2012, neuroscienceandpsi.blogspot.com/2012/08/james-carpenters-first-sight-model-and.html
- Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Decision-making May Be Surprisingly Unconscious Activity, Science Daily, 2008, sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145705.htm
- Bargh, John A.; Morsella, Ezequiel, The Unconscious Mind, Yale University, 2008, yale.edu/acmelab/articles/Bargh_Morsella_Unconscious_Mind.pdf
- Butler, Tom, Mindfulness, Etheric Studies, 2014, ethericstudies.org/concepts/mindfulness.htm
- Butler, Tom Implicit Cosmology, Etheric Studies, 2015, ethericstudies.org/concepts/cosmology.htm